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Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

Sponsored by: McAuslan

Montreal Premiere

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

WINNER: Best Film, Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival 2010
Official Selection, Toronto International Film Festival 2010
Official Selection, Locarno International Film Festival 2010

Screening Times

"An original, daring, carefully crafted film" — Roger Ebert, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES

"Conceived with winking humor and a terrific visual style, the pic is a rare treat" — Jay Weissberg, VARIETY


Director: Jalmari Helander
Screenplay: Jalmari Helander
Cast: Onni Tommila, Jorma Tommila, Tommi Korpela, Rauno Juvonen, Jonathan Hutchings
Producers: Petri Jokiranta, Knut Skoglund, François-Xavier Frantz, Anna Bjork, Agnès B.
Print Source: Oscilloscope Pictures



Friends, we have been deceived. Santa Claus is not who we thought he was, and I don’t mean the drunken uncle hidden behind a foul-smelling beard that made us sit on his lap. No! We have here a potential global crisis capable of changing the very face of childhood. The real Santa Claus is in fact a terrifying being who punishes children and coldly kills adults who break his rules. If you swear, smoke, drink or simply forget to wash behind your ears, beware of the holidays! Somewhere in Sàpmi, we’re about to dig up the real Santa!

Little Pietari, a young Sami living close to the site where the American company Subzero Inc. is about to exhume the terrible character, knows the real story about Santa Claus. Of course, nobody believes him, even when the regional reindeers are found massacred a few days before Christmas. Facing the loss of their only source of income, the villagers don’t want to hear about young lad’s suspicions, planning instead to take revenge on the Americans whom they believe are responsible for the carnage. The adults still refuse to acknowledge the evidence when a stark-naked, bearded old man gets caught in a wolf trap set by Pietari’s father. Believing that they’ve captured a Subzero employee, they decide to take him hostage and hold him for ransom. Faced with general inaction and getting wary looks from the aged prisoner, Pietari will have to act if he wants to avoid getting a medieval-style ass-whooping.

Whether you adore Christmas or despise it, you will fall under the spell of RARE EXPORTS: A CHRISTMAS TALE! Guaranteed! This first feature by Finland’s Jalmari Helander, inspired by his two excellent shorts, RARE EXPORTS INC. (2003) and RARE EXPORTS: THE SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS (2005), re-imagines the Santa Claus myth by perfectly balancing the gruesome and enchanting aspects of his tale. Helander offers a fantastic fairy tale that has closer ties with GREMLINS than it does with more bloody horror films like SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT and SINT, the latter also screening at Fantasia this year. A massively appealing horror film of irreproachable technical flair, filled with irreverent humour, RARE EXPORTS is visually splendid and frequently spectacular. The holiday spirit is preserved but from now on, you will think twice before placing your offspring on the knee of some shopping-mall Santa!

—Nicolas Archambault (translated by Guillaume Desbiens)

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